Deep cold continues across New England this morning with clear skies and enough of a breeze to make it feel even colder. Wind chills are running at or below zero and will continue in this range the first few hours of the morning. It’s coldest in the mountains and inland areas and less cold along the coast. With arctic high pressure firmly entrenched there won’t be any clouds today, but highs will remain 15 degrees or more below more typical early March readings.
Temperatures begin climbing a bit on Friday when highs will break freezing from southern Maine to southern New England. Some folks on Cape Cod will enjoy readings in the lower 40s in the afternoon.
A quick flow of even milder air arrives Saturday. This is the day you will think you made it through winter, but don’t be lulled into a false sense of spring just yet. Highs will reach the lower 40s in northern New England to near 50F south of Boston. With a blend of clouds and sunshine, this will be one of the best days we’ve had in a couple of weeks.
A cold front moves through Saturday night and pushes the above average temperatures far to the south again. The air behind this front isn’t as cold as today, so highs will just be pushed back to slightly below average and remain there through the middle of next week.
The northern jet stream has taken control of our weather for many days now and this is the reason the last few storms stayed to our south and why it has remained mostly storm free for quite a while. This time of year there are two jet streams which control our weather. The northern one brings cold and energy and the southern one brings warmth and moisture. When these two streams interact in what we called a phasing, major storms can develop. It’s not impossible to get a big storm from either jet, but our largest tend to come from the interaction of both.
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Predicting the phasing of the two jet streams is a tough one for the models to forecast very far in advance thus making longer range forecasting in these situations less predictable. Next week, all the models are indicating the two branches of the jet stream will attempt a phasing or perhaps actually phase in the Wednesday night to Friday time frame. What follows is our next shot at a storm. The Japanese model (yes they have one too)is most aggressive with the merging of the two branches, while the American GFS is less so. I’ll be watching each new computer run with anticipation to look for possible trends in the models and a growing consensus for or against storm development. These things tend to do a lot of flip-flopping each day and between models while trying to arrive at the correct solution to the future atmosphere.
You’ll probably start to see the TV meteorologists put things like watching, a question mark, maybe or possible on their Wednesday or Thursday icon depending on how far out they are forecasting.
Beyond the end of next week, while I do see some milder periods, the overall pattern continues to look consistently cold with multiple shots of cold air continuing through the end of the month. If we do get more snow, it might be around for a while.